Much like Gronk's first retirement in 2019, I've got a little story about questioning his potential retirement, only for its news to drop hours later.
My sleep schedule is more fucked up than Gronk's former TE tandem-mate's brain scans. Sometime this morning between 4-6 am, I went down a rabbit hole of Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie teams/healthy meals for my latest weight loss journey.
When I was on Gronk's wiki, I noticed it said Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020-2021, and for a couple of seconds, I was like, "damn, I'm surprised Gronk hasn't made a decision yet." Then not long after I naturally woke up around 1:40 pm-ish; it appears he has!
I mean, in the time it's taken me to embed an IG post, upload a picture and get distracted texting, news already leaked from Gronk's agent that this could be another temporary retirement.
Whether or not he ever plays another down, Rob Gronkowski is the greatest tight end in NFL history.
Wanksta ass Kelce might end up with better stats when it's all said and done (Gronk still has 35 more TDs), but that's because he doesn't get dirty in the trenches. He hasn't dealt with the wear and tear of being a true tight end like Robby G. No player could ever dominate the line of scrimmage then go out and give you seven catches for 125 yards and a TD like Gronk.
It's such a shame we as a society were robbed of so much peak Gronk. He missed major time in 2012, 2013 and 2016 and was clearly hobbled in Super Bowl XLVI thanks to scumbag Bernard Pollard. Even if you hated the Patriots, you probably loved Gronk. He was a human golden retriever that could spike a football over a house. Despite his size, he could make acrobatic catches that would leave you in awe, and because of his size, he could throw you out of the club in the blink of an eye. The video is gonna be blocked on DOL because the NFL hates fan engagement, but click the link and enjoy.
When Gronk came back with Tampa, it was super bittersweet. I wanted to see Gronk add to his numbers (he's retiring today within striking distance of 10,000 yards and 100 TDs), but watching him and Brady elsewhere fucking sucked. Yes, it was cool to profit off his Super Bowl LIV performance, but watching them together in Tampa fucking sucked. That may be repetitive and poor writing, but it's the truth. It fucking SUCKED.
With Gronk's injury history, career earnings, four rings, and gorgeous girlfriend, I get why he'd walk away from the gridiron (again), but he's one solid season away from 10K yards & 100 regular season TDs. It's a lot easier for me to say this behind a keyboard, but wouldn't you want to come back for one more season with TB12 to try and reach those milestones?
I guess Gronk was so dominant that he doesn't need the counting stats to solidify his legacy. He's in that Ken Griffey Jr. class of studs who put up great numbers that could've been even better had they stayed healthy. Even if it's in a different uniform, I want to see Gronk get there. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer regardless, and I am a little butt hurt he got banged up and missed the return to Foxboro with Brady THE DAY after I bought tickets for my old man and me. Still, Gronk's given me, millions of Patriots fans, and 7,000 Bucs fans a lifetime of memories. Congrats on a great career 87/69. I'm sure we'll hear from you soon. TBH, I don't love the lack of Patriot acknowledgment in the IG post, but I'm not going down that path again.
I took a 10th round flyer on Gronk last year in fantasy and for the first two and a half games of the season it looked like he was back in his 2011 form. Stinks I'm losing a potential keeper for this year, but gun to my head Gronk is gonna end up coming back again this year.
Since they ended up losing the game, I feel like this performance gets lost in history, but what Gronk did in the final minutes of the 2015 AFC Championship Game was some of the clutchest (most clutch?) football ever.